Tim Tully on CSHL: The Future
  Tim Tully     Biography    
Recorded: 01 Aug 2003

Twenty years from now? Well, that’s a good question. Everyone ponders this. It’s hard to know what can happen in twenty years. I think the basic point is that Jim has created a culture here now. And that culture will persist. That culture is to focus on the leading edge of science, get the best in the business together to talk about it in Blackford bar over a beer, which is another one of his “lucky” ideas. That science will be advanced by that. Of course, this is another sort of great insight to the process. If you have meetings and courses where the best in the world come through here to talk about leading-edge science, then when it comes to hiring scientists to work at Cold Spring Harbor, you’ve got your pick of the cream of the crop. And that means that hiring world class scientists, young scientists here to advance new ideas will continue in the same way.

So, again, it’s cultural. It’s organizational, but now it’s cultural. And it is well engrained so that it is likely to just continue here indefinitely.

Tim Tully is a molecular geneticist, interested in finding the genetic and biological basis of memory in order to better identify pharmacological and behavioral treatments for memory loss. In 1981, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Tully joined the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory staff in 1991 to work on discovering genes involved with memory. He became the St. Giles Foundation Professor of Neuroscience and led the Drosophila learning and memory program. In 1998 he founded Helicon Therapeutics, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology firm that works on new therapies for memory loss and other cognition disorders. In June, 2007, Tully left Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to become Helicon's Acting Chief Scientific Officer, and assume a key role in the Michigan-based Dart Foundation as it expands its interest in funding neuroscience research.

His work on the transcriptional factor CREB gave way to the first experimental demonstration of enhanced memory formation in genetically engineered animals. Tully works to identify genes involved with long-term memory formation. Tully has determined that by the regulation of gene expression, new, long-term memories can be formed due to the growth of new synapses.